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    People react as smoke billows from burning pallets set on fire during clashes between Turkish riot policemen and Kurdish protesters in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on November 1, 2015 after first results of the Turkish general election showed a clear victory to the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon at Kurds who were protesting after the election appeared to deliver a clear victory to AKP, an AFP photographer said. Latest results say the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) won slightly over 10 percent of the vote, just enough to scrape into parliament.

    Turkey Detains 12 Academics Over Calls to Stop Violence Against Kurds

    © AFP 2019 / Bulent Kilic
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    Turkey launched an investigation against 21 academics on Friday for signing a petition calling for cessation of military operation in the southeast of the country, with 12 of them detained, local media reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the Hurriyet newspaper, police of the Turkish northwestern Kocaeli province detained all of the academics who were present at their home addresses at the time of the operation. Police are reportedly searching for the remaining nine out of the 21 accused.

    The scholars are reportedly being charged with "terrorist propaganda" and insulting the Turkish nation and the state.

    The Academics for Peace petition has been signed by 1,128 local and international scientists. In his speech on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred to the signatories as to "poor excuses for intellectuals."

    On Wednesday, Turkey's top higher education authority vowed to take measures against academics who signed the petition.

    Violence in Turkey escalated in mid-2015, when the Turkish government launched a military campaign against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is outlawed in the country.

    Related:

    Ankara Vows to Press Academics Calling to Stop War Against Kurds' PKK
    Two Turkish Police Officers, Soldier Killed in Clashes With PKK
    Clashes With PKK in Turkey’s Southeast Leave 9 Security Personnel Wounded
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    science, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey
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